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New discretionary research tool compares by proposition and 20 individual points

New discretionary fund manager research tool, Compare, has been launched by DISCUS, to help advisory firms examine brands by type of proposition and up to 20 comparison points from a wide ranging list.

The tool has been designed to help those researching DFMs to learn more about the different propositions available, and then compare features, benefits and services using their own criteria.

DISCUS stresses that the tool will not replace detailed due diligence but should be viewed as a starting point to help understand the services on offer prior to more detailed research and analysis.

Once registered, users are able to select the type of proposition they would like to use as the basis of their analysis from four proposition types: Bespoke, managed and model portfolios, and discretionary funds.

The system then filters DFMs by that proposition and the user can select five from the list, by clicking on their logos, to compare.

Choice of comparison points

Users can then select up to 20 comparison points, including business information such as its strength, size, whether it has an financial advice arm and percentage of business it receives from financial advisers; the investment proposition such as investment style, range of asset classes and type of investments used, approach to asset allocation, use of gearing; functionality such as data feeds to back-office systems and alignment with risk tools; services such as frequency of market commentary and client meetings; and charges including TER at three levels of portfolio size.

The findings are summarised in a table and users can edit and replace criteria or managers or run new reports.

Currently the Compare tool enables advisers to review the features and benefits of the propositions available from the company’s discretionary investment partners, including 7IM, Brooks Macdonald, Cornelian Asset Managers, GAM, King & Shaxson, Rathbones, Thesis Asset Management, Smith & Williamson.

The second phase of the launch will see more discretionary managers added, the company said, including P1 and and Vertem Asset Management.

Abbie Knight, director of DISCUS said: “We believe that the regulator has an increased focus on the due diligence of products and services and our Compare tool is a good starting point to help advisers with this process.

“The criteria available for review is based on our experience of working with advisers and helping them to select investment propositions aligned to their client and business needs. These criteria cover the areas that can make a real difference in the selection process.

“The availability of market commentary, responsibility for suitability, handling of client correspondence and the range of investments used are a few examples.”

DISCUS (Discretionary Investment Services Coming Under Scrutiny) was launched in April 2014 aimed at providing a single port of call for those researching outsourced investment providers to learn more about the solutions on offer and engage directly with the providers, as a first step toward finding the right partner for their clients and their business.

Visit the DISCUS website


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